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inContact Survey Reveals Customer Service Still a Challenge Across Channels

May 04, 2017

A glaring data point from the new "inContact Customer Experience Transformation Benchmark Study," reveals 8 in 10 consumers are willing to switch companies due to poor customer service; that is a whopping 80 percent. It goes without saying, organizations are still finding it a challenge to meet the needs of their customers across channels as more communication technologies become available to consumers. The inContact survey was able to identify a deficiency in customer satisfaction across 10 different customer service channels, showing consumers are not receiving quick resolutions to their queries.

As a cloud contact center software provider and part of NICE, which also delivers cloud and on-premises enterprise software solutions, both companies have extensive experience in customer service solutions. This survey was carried out between March 1 and 23, 2017 with the participation of more than 700 consumers who had experienced a customer service interaction in the past three months.

In addition to eight of the 10 respondent's willingness to switch to another company because of poor customer service, only less than half of customers are satisfied with their experience, regardless of communication channel.

Paul Jarman, CEO at inContact, said, "This important research confirms that, even as we make incredible advances in technology and automation, companies are still struggling to deliver consistent, excellent customer service across all touchpoints." 

Here are some more revealing data points from the survey that highlight what today's consumer is looking for. The first one is people still want to talk to other people, even though they appreciate the convenience of self-service channel. According to inContact, the adoption of automation technology has many benefits, but organizations have to consider solutions that augment human interactions, and not replace them. This according to the company can ensure fluidity between channels, addressing the many different needs and preferences of consumers.

Jarman adds, "To stay competitive, businesses today need to win every interaction with their customers. Cloud contact center technology enables companies to meet and exceed consumers’ high expectations by deploying technology that enables seamless customer service, regardless of the channel."

When it comes to the channels that deliver the most frustrating customer service experience, it is email and Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Based on the results of the survey, email and IVR have provoked the strongest emotion, with anger, disgust and frustration being highlighted. This has resulted in these two channels having the lowest consumer performance ratings, which is attributed to the lack of personalization, speed of service and completeness information. And when it comes to resolution, the respondents in this survey said it was the least effective method, with over one-third reporting the issue as ‘still ongoing’ or ‘nothing more the company can do.’

Regarding demographics, millennial's have higher expectations, and they expect the company they do business with to have information about them that will make the purchasing decision much easier with a proactive and seamless omni-channel integration.

As to the industries that provide the best the highest quality of customer service, this time around it was airlines, retailers and credit card companies, who are leading other segments in delivering better omni-channel customer experiences. On the other side of the spectrum, fast food, Internet providers and car rentals have the lowest-rated service.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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